Alexandrite is one of the rarest and most fascinating gemstones and is famed for its ability to change colour. Discovered first in Russia’s Ural mountains an area with huge mineral wealth including the most sought after Demantoid garnets and now mined in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil.
Fine, gem quality stones are incredibly rare and therefor expensive with stones often cut to retain weight above all other traits although most cut stones are still under 1ct in weight with bigger stones commanding much higher prices.
Russian Alexandrites are still the most sought after variety though very little material is available. Stones from Sri Lanka are often large in size but the colours are less intense. Brazilian stones have been found that rival that of those found in Russia however production has decreased.
The colour change is Alexandrites most impressive feature and although this is not unique to Alexandrite it is what the stone is best known for. It is Green or bluish-green in the day light it turns to a soft shade of red or purplish red in daylight with the most dramatic colour changes being the most sought after.
Being relatively high on the mohs scale for hardness ,8.5, Alexandrites are suitable for all types of jewellery although you will rarely see them on the high street due to the scarcity of supply.